A state appeals court has restored the authority of California water regulators to direct reductions in cold-weather sprays by grape growers and other waterfront farmers along the Russian River that have led to deaths of endangered species of salmon.
Workers evacuated rainbow trout on Tuesday from a hatchery on the American River as part of rescue efforts prompted by concerns that California’s drought will increase water temperatures and kill the fish.
Environmentalists who want to bolster endangered coho salmon populations are hoping to launch an initiative to purchase homes along San Geronimo Creek, make them fish-friendly, then return them to market at affordable prices.
“The drought is forcing state officials to evacuate rainbow trout and steelhead fish from two hatcheries on the American River amid concern the water will become warm enough to kill the fish in coming weeks.”
From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW):
“With extreme drought conditions reducing the cold water supply available, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are moving the last rainbow trout out of the American River Hatchery to avoid future losses of young fish to rising water temperatures.
“A federal agency has agreed to restore temporary buffer zones for spraying several common agricultural pesticides along salmon streams in Oregon, California and Washington while it continues work on a permanent rule.”
“Glowing from the approval of a $1 billion revitalization plan, Los Angeles City Council members proclaimed Wednesday L.A. River Day, hailing its pending rebirth and the possible return of endangered steelhead trout.”
“Trees provide koalas with more than food and shelter – they also serve as air conditioners, scientists say. … The marsupials don’t retreat to dens or dugouts, and the water that would help them cool off can be hard to come by.”
“For Joshua and about 30 other kids who participated in a trout hatchery program with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the fish release was a reward of sorts for performing well in department’s 29th annual Nature Bowl last month.”
From the Marin Independent Journal, in a commentary by Todd Steiner:
“Coho salmon are an incredibly unique species. They begin their lives in California’s freshwater streams, mature in the Pacific Ocean, and then return to their natal creeks to spawn and finally die. They once flooded streams and sent fishers home with millions of fish each season, but today California’s streams no longer support these iconic wild fish.”
From the California WaterBlog by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, in a post by Jay Lund and Peter Moyle:
“In drought years, California usually reduces ‘environmental water flows’ — the amount of river flows needed to maintain aquatic ecosystems — to make more water available for farms and cities. The current drought has been no exception.
“Regional water officials have shaped a plan to improve water quality in the Lagunitas Creek watershed, which provides habitat for coho salmon, steelhead trout and California freshwater shrimp, all listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.”
From the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) blog:
“The Northern California Water Association has developed a new infographic highlighting the Pacific Flyway lands in the Sacramento Valley. … Every fall, the region transitions into prime habitat for the shorebirds, migratory waterfowl, raptors and other species that utilize the Flyway.